The Light Utility Helicopter, LUH-PT-2, made its maiden flight May 22 in Bengaluru, India, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) said. The flight lasted about 22 minutes, and HAL said pilots reported “nil snag.”
Testing of the LUH PT-1, performed last September, informed improvements made to the second prototype. The aircraft also features a modified tail boom. HAL said it has further flight tests planned for both prototypes in the coming months and hopes to have a confirmed configuration by the end of this year.
Designed to meet requirements for both military and civil operators, the LUH is designated for reconnaissance, surveillance and light transport roles. It’s a 3-ton class, new-generation rotorcraft that has been developed indigenously. HAL aims for the helicopter to be capable of flying at some 136 mph, with a range of about 217 miles and a payload of nearly 882 pounds. It features a glass cockpit and is powered by a TM/HAL Ardiden 1U/Shakti 1U single turboshaft engine.